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Hot rock and lightning strikes, Summer 23


Hot rock in the Western Isles, tussling with pink granite on Erraid

Hot hot hot!! Its been a great heatwave over the last couple of weeks with widespread sun and heat over the Highlands and we have certainly been out enjoying it. A bit of a catch up blog since the last spring post as the longest day has now passed us and unfortunately the weather has taken a turn back to more normal patterns.

The spring seemed to falter a bit with often quite cold weather coming through although the weather pattern has certainly made up for that of late. We have been out working and instructing and also getting out for ourselves exploring the crags, mountains and the Western Isles.

Jack and friends enjoying fine sandstone scrambling and high winds on Stac Pollaidh

We where joined by Jack who was visiting the Highlands from the States. We enjoyed some fine scrambling and climbing in the North West Highlands and Cairngorms. It was still a little cold then and extremely windy over their visit but we made the best of it. We enjoyed a great day of guiding on Stac Pollaidh a sort of mini mountain perfectly formed and offers great scrambling and superb views out in all directions out to the Atlantic and also back inland to the distinctive North Western summits and ridges.

There has also been skills courses for the Austrian Alpine club members of which we are an accredited provider in Scotland. We took Kai into Glen Nevis for an introduction to rock climbing. It was a one to one course so in the end as Kai had plenty of sport and indoor climbing experience we where able to expand on that quite quickly ticking off plenty of routes and learning on the move the ins and outs of traditional climbing. We moved around Glen Nevis through some quite damp weather as the midge also arrived but managed to cover plenty the course aimed more towards a competent second course.

Kai enjoying dry rock on Tricouni Slab, Glen Nevis

There has also been plenty of back and forth to Ben Nevis for various jobs. It's been stunning on the Ben with fantastic weather and plenty out making the most of it, some perhaps finding the heat a challenge to deal with. It has though created the perfect pattern for some thunder and lighting. One particular storm quite dramatically drew a lighting strike onto the summit exploding a cairn and view point. Aside from the exploding cairns it had been a while since I was up and down on the Ben this way. It certainly still attracts the crowds but I thought it was looking well looked after compared to some years. The paths in great shape and also not that much litter. Unfortunately where there are humans there is nearly always litter but I have seen it much worse in the past. I had a great day with Jeremy and Liz exploring the CMD arête and round to the summit of the Ben that way. A superb round on the Ben giving possibly one of the best views in the Highlands onto the dramatic North Face. In the same time Jo blasted up to the hut for run up Ledge Route and round the CMD arête back to the car.

Liz and Jermey with the CMD arête behind nearing the top of the Ben

Peering into the Northern side of the Ben with the CMD arête in the background

On a personal level we have been out climbing too. A great couple of days down in the Lakes enjoying fine weather at Black Crag was a standout spot. I have climbed there many times it seems to combine friendly feeling climbing on superb rock while having a great mountain setting. Some trips to the local crags around Inverness and also the Cairngorms have filled the gaps. Jo also attended the Women’s Scottish Climbing Club meet in Glencoe enjoying a weekend of dry and sunny rock. Its most certainly the time for the mountain crags with everything bone dry for now. We where also out and about on the Isle of Mull in the Hebrides during a spell of work and managed to make the most of the sunshine. We visited some of the lovely pink granite crags at the end of the Ross of Mull. It was also nice to revisit old haunts with friends, living and working on Mull for a period we where able to explore these crags making first ascents in the area. We took a trip down memory lane revisiting hidden crag at the end of the Ross of Mull near Knockvolygon. Also a trip out to Erraid which is a must visit venue overlooking Iona I plan to make a separate blog post for that.


Looking ahead somewhat and perhaps early to be thinking about winter I have prepared the site and winter dates. I have also hopefully made the booking system easier moving the forms and details so they can all be done online.

We have two additional winter courses. A week in Torridon covering winter skills while taking a journey via the North Wests summit over the February half term. We have also posted a New Year option combing winter skills and a summit of Ben Nevis on New Years Day. To have a closer look head to the winter page here.

I have also made hopefully the booking process easier with the booking form now being online and can be found here.

For now the great summer weather seems to be waining but I’m sure there are many sunny days to come.

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